Politics and Reform in the Gilded Age I. The Business of Politics II. The Decline of Agriculture...
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Politics and Reform in the Gilded Age
I. The Business of PoliticsII. The Decline of AgricultureIII. The Populist Revolt
Key TermsSpoils SystemSherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)United States v. E. C. Knight Company(1895)Grover ClevelandBillion Dollar Congress (1889-1891)Protective TariffsFarmers AlliancePopulistsWilliam Jennings Bryan
I. The Business of Politics A. Politics as Business B. Attempts at Reform C. The Billion Dollar Congress
Thomas Nast, November, 1881 Political Balance
Thomas Nast, 1884
Thomas Nast, 1872President Grant Receiving Office Seekers
Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890every contract, combination in the form of trust or trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations, is hereby declared illegal.
United States v. E. C. Knight Company (1895)
Justice Stephen J. Field As the population and wealth increases -- as the inequalities in the conditions of men become more and more marked and disturbing-- as . . . angry menaces against order find vent in the loud denunciations -- it becomes the imperative duty of the court to enforce with a firm hand every guarantee of the Constitution.
Billion Dollar Congress, 1889-91 Raised tariff rates, depressing income. Increased eligibility for Civil War pensions.Gave subsidies to steamship linesPasses pork barrel internal improvement bills.
II. The Decline of Agriculture A. Unprofitably of Farming B. Government Policies
Suez Canal Opening, 1869
Loading a Grain Steam in MilwaukeeLinking Midwest Farmers with the World
Fall of Crop Prices, 1872-1896
Unprofitably of Farming, 1889
Government PoliciesDeflationary monetary policy.Protective tariff.Who do these policies help?Is this laissez-faire government?
III. The Populist Revolt A. Farmers Alliance (1877) The Populists The Election of 1896
First Farmers Alliance meeting held in Texas, in 1877
Farmers Alliance PlatformA increase in the amount of currency Free coinage of silver A federal income tax Reduction of tariff rates Direct election of senators Government ownership of railroads and telegraphs.
The PopulistsThis 1890 Populist delegate ribbon shows their interest in the silver issue with its silver lettering
Populist Efforts at InclusionNow the People's party says to these two men, 'You are kept apart that you may be separately fleeced of your earnings. You are made to hate each other because upon that hatred is rested the keystone of the arch of financial despotism which enslaves you both. You are deceived and blinded by that you may not see how this race antagonism perpetuates a monetary system which beggars both.
William McKinley 1896 Republican candidate
William Jennings Bryan1896 Democratic and Populist candidate
Fund Raising in 1896 Campaign
Election of 1896
Election of 2000